• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'To Autumn' by John Keats, analyse the poem and comment on the poetic form and language used.

Extracts from this document...


Carefully read the poem 'To Autumn' by John Keats. Write an essay of no more than 1500 words in which you analyse the poem and comment on the poetic form and language used (for example, rhyme, rhythm, metaphor, imagery, tone, word order, alliteration, point of view) and the way they contribute to the meaning of the poem. The three stanzas in the poem, 'To Autumn' describe the many aspects of the harvest season. The first stanza details the many activities that take place during the season, using rich expressive language, such as, 'maturing, ripeness, plump, and clammy'. The use of this language coupled with the action oriented verbs like, 'to load, to bend, and fill, to swell, and to set,' serve to leave the reader with a more positive and warming image of autumn than is usually depicted in verse or prose. Keats uses personification in the second line by calling autumn, 'close bosom-friend of the maturing sun,' which is very powerful metaphor and emphasises the importance of the season to the reader. This language combined with the use of, 'bless' conjures up a serene image. ...read more.


This stanza is also more relaxed than the first with phrases like, 'sitting careless, sound asleep, drows'd, and, 'with patient look' which is in direct contrast to your expectations, as you would think that after following summer there would be countless energetic images. Even with the leisurely activities of autumn being described, the harvest is clearly nearing completion with the suggestion of the cider-presses, 'last oozings hours by hours.' These words also draw out the process, and serve to lengthen the stanza. Alliteration is present again with, 'winnowing wind' which again prolongs the image of the season. The tender musical tones of, 'Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music', in the final stanza is Keats appealing for autumn to be upbeat. There is also a sense that Keats is looking back and in a period of reflection. This is followed in a melancholic manner describing the onslaught of winter with images of death, with, 'soft-dying day', 'wailful choir', 'gnats mourn', and, 'as the light wind lives or dies'. The tone is then reversed by the onomatopoeia of, 'bleat, whistles and twitter', when describing the sounds of nature, which lifts the poem and ends the poem with an image of the season in a positive, cheerful way. ...read more.


There is also a feeling of movement through each stanza, with the first stanza focusing on activity, the second focusing on slumber, and the third focusing on finality. The three stanzas also appeal to different senses, the first being sensual, describing factual events, the second being visual, giving us imagined romantic images, and the third being aural, which justify Keats's opinions of autumn. The change of word order in the first stanza of, 'thatch-eves run' instead of, 'run thatch-eves', and in the third stanza of, 'treble soft', instead of, 'soft treble', cleverly allow Keats to use the respective rhyming of, 'sun', and, 'croft'. The overall effect of the poem is to leave the reader with the view that Keats strongly believes that the autumn season usually has an under valued existence and is over shadowed by the sometimes romantic images of spring. He clearly redresses the balance with his strong imagery and powerful language, which effectively take the reader through a fulfilling and wonderful experience of an autumn day, enabling the reader to also gain an insight into the poet's mood and persona. In summary, 'To Autumn', is a fine poem using a myriad of techniques including personification, alliteration, aural language and imagery to convey Keats's experiences and thoughts. Word count 994 1 Page 1 of 2 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Keats section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE John Keats essays

  1. Compare and contrast Keats 'Ode of Autumn' with Heaney's 'Death of a Naturalist' bringing ...

    Like his technique Heaney chooses to show us what is usually overlooked in nature - the decay and rotting; the crueller side of nature, not the reproduction, (even the child's repeated words from Miss Walls there is no reproduction mentioned) 'The daddy frog was called a bullfrog . . .

  2. The Ode is used as a poetic form for philosophical contemplation. Compare two ...

    a 'draught of vintage', conversely his ambivalent state of mind allows him to reject that idea in stanza three. He repudiates the notion of being 'charioted Bacchus and his pards' (Bacchus was the Roman god of wine and was supposed to have been carried by a chariot pulled by leopards); instead he chooses to embrace.

  1. Write an appreciation of "The Eve of St Agnes" as a narrative Romantic poem.

    "Where lo! - How fast she slept." Gothic imagery is used to add to the romantic setting. "Silver twilight," suggests magic and enchantment. The "faded moon" shows the passing of time, giving the reader and idea of what is happening and when. Madeline is still asleep "in blanched linen, smooth and lavender'd."

  2. Compare and contrast the views of Autumn inTed Hughes's 'There Came A Day' and ...

    He describes the affects of late autumn and winter on the countryside, and animals. Hughes presents his questions through autumn there is proof of this in the poem when he says ''the day said, the day said'' this repetition makes it more dramatic and gives the impression of an echo.

  1. Write an appreciation of 'To Autumn'. Consider poetic techniques, use of imagery, diction, rhythm ...

    The impression that Keats gives to me of Autumn is that he, she or it is careless and lazy, 'on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,' intoxicated, 'Drows'd with the fume of poppies,' and finally, tranquil: "Steady thy laden head across a brook; Or by a cider-press, with patient look, Thou

  2. How does Keats create a sense of autumn so effectively in his poem,' To ...

    Another good example of personification is in the second stanza, which very effectively portrays autumn as sleepy and that harvest is nearly done: 'on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, Drowsed with the fume of poppies...' This describes autumn as a time when all goes to sleep; animals go into hibernation and trees loose their leaves.

  1. Rich Sensuousness, well-wrought form and depth of thought are characteristics of Keats poetry. By ...

    We should be content to accept that its beauty offers us a truth and its truth lies in its beauty. In 'Ode to Autumn' the poem begins with an apostrophe, an address to the season, autumn, whose beautiful colours and products are before the speaker.

  2. 'The ode is used as a poetic form for philosophical contemplation.' Compare two odes ...

    The structure of both odes is very similar, although Ode to a Nightingale has three more stanzas than Ode on a Grecian Urn. This is because the former examines more ideas than the latter.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work